Fury Over Virgin Care Pay Out
At the time of writing 90,000 signatures had already been collected calling for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care to return at least £328,000 to the NHS.
The money was paid to Virgin Care as settlement by the NHS after the former sued citing “serious flaws” in the way a contract to provide children’s health services was awarded to a rival bidder.
The contract would have been worth £82 million to Virgin Care and it named six local NHS CCGs in Surrey, as well as Surrey Council and the NHS, in legal proceedings. One of the CCGs, NHS Surrey Downs, has accidentally published the figure of £328,000 as being paid as settlement to Virgin Care.
Subsequently it has been suggested that the total figure could be as high as £2 million. John Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, has expressed his disgust that NHS money is being frittered away on legal claims from private companies. He said: “It’s scandalous that NHS money is being wasted on fighting off legal bids from private companies.
“Ministers need to make clear how much public money has been used in this case – at the least it seems to be hundreds of thousands of pounds. That is money that could be being used for NHS patients who are waiting longer than ever for routine services.”
The petition reads: “When the NHS is under severe financial pressure, it cannot afford to lose this money. Richard Branson, however, with an estimated personal wealth of over £3.5bn, can manage perfectly comfortably without it.
“This petition asks that Virgin Care returns the money to the National Health Service, and asks Richard Branson to apologise and make a personal commitment that Virgin Care will never again sue the NHS after losing out on a contract.”
You can find the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/richard-branson-richard-branson-and-virgin-care-return-the-nhs-s-money-and-never-sue-the-nhs-again